emailiconhanddrawnFor every email list, there is churn, churn, churn. People leave your list and emails bounce.

Are you replacing those names? If not, your nonprofit email list shrinks every year to the tune of 12 percent or higher, according to the 2016 M+R Nonprofit Benchmarks Study (your mileage may vary, of course).

Organic email list growth is great, but it’s slow. Paid acquisition supplements organic growth and helps you grow your base of support more quickly, for a price of course.

Email List Churn

Source: 2016 M+R Benchmarks Study

There are 4 basic types of paid email acquisition. All of them feature a call-to-action such as signing a petition, making a donation or downloading content.

Cost-per-Action (CPA)
With CPA, you pay for the email addresses of people who took a specified action like signing a petition or pledge.

Cost-per-Thousand Impressions (CPM)
CPA is online advertising. You pay for each time an ad is displayed.

Chaperone or Sponsored Emails
With paid chaperone or sponsored emails, you pay a vendor to send an email to their email list on your behalf.

Email Append
E-append vendors take your direct-mail data and match it against their database to obtain email addresses.

Before you get started with paid acquisition, do this:

Paid Acquisition Tips

  • Research several vendors to see which audiences and pricing models work best for your nonprofit
  • Identify your goals (are you looking to advance an advocacy campaign, acquire donor prospects, recruit volunteers?)
  • Be prepared to spend several thousand dollars for a campaign
  • Don’t just add names to your list — onboard them with a welcome series, or at least one welcome email
  • Track your ROI – (how do the acquisitions perform vs the general list, against other acquisition sources, over time)

Here are 14 paid acquisition resources for you to consider:

Cost Per Action (CPA)

  1. Care2
  3. GreaterGood
  4. LeftAction
  6. Alternet & Raw Story (also chaperone)

Cost per 1,000 Impressions (CPM)

  2. Mother Jones (CPA and chaperone also)
  3. Salon
  4. Sojourners
  5. The Nation
  6. BeliefNet

Email Append

  1. Tower Data,
  2. Fresh Address

Which ones have you used? And which ones would you add? Leave a comment to share your experiences with paid acquisition.


Published On: May 5, 2016|Categories: Communications Channel Management|